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naments, composed of foliage and flowers; and on the third side are also arabesque ornaments of a similar character, in the centre of which is a vase.
No. 3 is one of the feet or supports of a tripod table. The upper part exhibits a lion's head rising out of foliage; the lower part, which has been restored, represents the leg of that animal. It was a common ancient practice to make the legs of tables in imitation of the legs of animals; when this was done it was usual, to obviate the ill effects arising from the close union of incongruous parts, to place foliage between them. An analogous practice may be observed in the representations of Pan, where a thick bunch of hair is always placed at the junction of the human thighs to goat's legs.
No. 49 is the leg of a similar table, in shape of the head of a panther rising out of foliage.
No. 50 is the foro, or support of an ancient table, in shape of the head and foot of a lion or panther, in red porphyry. It was found, in 1772, at a depth of twenty-five feet in the Forum, under the Palatine Hill. No. 13 is a fragment of a support of a table or tripod, representing a lion with the horns of a goat. Underneath the head is a circle of leaves. The head, though it bears the character of a lion, is most probably that of a griffin, which fabulous animal was generally represented under the combined forms of the
No. 15. lion and the eagle; thus it had the body, legs, and tail of the latter, with the head and wings of the former. This head, which is executed with considerable spirit, was found, in the year 1769, by Mr. Gavin Hamilton in the Pantanella, within the grounds of Hadrian's villa, near Tivoli.
No. 15 is part of one of the supports of an ancient table. It consists of a double volute of very elegant form. The circumvolutions of the upper and lower parts turn in contrary directions. The lower volute serves as a basis or pedestal to a figure of Victory, which fills up the intervening space in a light and beautiful manner. It was discovered near Frascati: the head and left fore arm of the Victory are modern.
No. 10 is a beautifully-carved, upright, cylindrical fountain, enriched with different kinds of foliage. It is divided into three parts, each division emanating from a number of broad leaves, which form a kind of calyx. The first or lower division contains branches of the olive-tree, the second branches of ivy, the third and upper the leaves and flowers of a plant which has not been identified. The water appears to have been conveyed through a perforation in the back part of the column, and to have issued from the mouth of a serpent, which is entwined round the middle division of the monument, and into which a leaden pipe was introduced, a portion of which still remains. This curious monument was found by Nicolo la Picola in 1776, near the road between Tivoli and Praeneste.
Nos. 38 and 40 are two small circular paterre, which have been supposed to be votive, engraven on both sides. On No. 38, on one side of it, and encircled by a wreath of ivy, is an eagle securing a hare with its talons, and on the other side Cupid sacrificing to Priapus, the god of Lampsacus. Cupid bears in one hand a lighted torch, and in ihe other a patera filled with offerings; before him is a lighted altar. No. 40 has on each side a head of Pan, in one case seen in front, encircled by a wreath of oak-leaves and acorns, in the other case in profile, crowned with ivy and placed on a pile of stones in front of a lighted altar: between the head and the altar is a branch of ivy.
No. 10 is a bas relief representing a festoon of vine branches supported by skulls of bulls. In the centre, above the festoon, is a mask of a laughing Satyr crowned with ivy. The curved form of this beautiful piece of sculpture shows that it has been used as a decoration in the inside of a circular building, probably dedicated to Dionysus: the moulding which surrounds it is composed of ivy leaves.
No. 14 is a bas relief representing an arabesque ornament, con sisting of two stems of a plant, growing from the same root, and curling in opposite directions. Underneath the plant, and on different parts of the branches, are several nests of birds, one of which, perched on a flowering stem in the centre, is in the act of catching an insect; the others appear to be pecking at the plant itself. In two corners of the marble are shells, from one of which a snail is issuing. Like the last described, the concave form of this marble renders it probable that it has been used as a decoration on the out side of a circular building.
Besides these miscellaneous objects which have just been described somewhat more fully, are several others which it is worth while to allude to. As, however, no running numbers have as yet been attached to them, we can only mention them as existing in the collection. The principal of these are, a small fountain ornamented with bas reliefs of Satyrs and Pans. Two lions' heads, in very high and salient relief, probably part of an ancient sarcophagus. A magnificent marble tazza of very large dimensions, its height being 4 feet 3£ inches, and its diameter 3 feet 7 inches. It stands on a single stem, and has handles very curiously formed of swans' necks and heads gracefully intertwined: it was brought to England in 1825, and presented to the Museum by Lord Western in 1839. An oblong basin of granite, similar to such as were used in the temples to contain the water necessary for the purification of those who sought admittance to the sacrifices. A cistern of green basalt originally used for a bath, beneath which are two rings, having in the centre an ivy leaf. A sun-dial constructed in the shape of a chair. A small tablet, on which is rudely blocked out a figure of the Syrian divinity Astarte, with two lines of Phoenician writing. A group of two dogs, found on the Monte Cagnuolo in 1774. A swan in red Egyptian marble, found in a vineyard adjoining the Villa Pinciana. An eagle found at Rome. Another small figure of an eagle, and the head of a goat. There are also two glazed cases containing a number of small fragments of statues and statuettes, some of them of beautiful workmanship and in excellent preservation.
Before we proceed to give an account of the Antiquities deposited in the Nimnid Room, we must state concisely what excavations have been made in ancient Assyria and Babylonia. The first great commencement in the investigations of those districts was made by Mr. Rich, who, during the time that he filled the office of Resident at Baghdad, undertook more than one journey to what were called the Ruins of Babylon, near the modern town of Hillah, on the Euphrates, and made several excavations into the ancient mounds still existing on the Eastern bank of that river. The results of his inquiries did not, however, lead to many important results; and beyond the examination of the Birs-i-Nimrud, which was then supposed to be the ruins of the Tower of Babel, little was effected towards arriving at any knowledge of the ancient state of the country. Mr. Rich, indeed, procured thence a black stone, now in the Museum, which was covered with Cuneiform characters, and surmounted by rude representations of astronomical symbols, but sadly imperfect, together with a considerable number of unbaked bricks. On the presumed site of ancient Nineveh, near Mosul, Mr. Rich also made some, though slight, excavations, and obtained a few inscribed stones, which have been lately published by the Museum, with other Cuneiform inscriptions. Till within the last four years, "a case scarcely three feet square enclosed," as Mr. Layard has justly remarked, "all that remained, not only of the great city Nineveh, but of Babylon itself!"
Nor were other European collections much more rich. Mr. Layard adds with truth, "Other museums in Europe contained a few cylinders and gems which came from Assyria and Babylonia, but they were not